What’s the best way to unwind after a long, hard week? For the owners of this 12,000-square-foot Nantucket, MA, vacation home, nothing soothes away stress better than kicking back with a few relaxing tunes. A favorite choice on a Friday night after a tough commute might be songs from jazz vocalist Diana Krall. On a lazy Sunday afternoon, the preferred medley might be something completely different, like a compilation of R&B classics from Earth, Wind & Fire.
The family’s impressive library of CDs runs the gamut, giving Mom, Dad and their three kids plenty of variety when it comes to their listening pleasure. Throw in hundreds of satellite and cable TV music stations, an XM Radio tuner, Sirius Radio tuner, two AM/FM tuners and two AudioRequest music servers, and the options are virtually limitless. It’s a good thing the AMX touchpanels, AutoPatch switchers and CineTouch software are there to keep things straight. The technology trio streamlines the process of hunting for music to just a few button presses. Using one of several AMX touchpanels positioned throughout the main house, guest house and outdoor entertainment areas, the family can access music that’s been categorized alphabetically by album title, genre or artist. For a visual reminder, the system displays the cover art of each album.
The CineTouch software also allowed Michael Alpert and his team of designers at Nantucket Media Systems to create a favorites category for each member of the family. “Right now, we just have a ‘his favorites’ and a ‘hers favorites,’ because our kids are too young to use the system,” relate the homeowners. But that’ll all change in a couple of years. “Our 6-year-old has already figured out how to play music in her room,” the owners say. When it’s time to add a favorites playlist for the kids, all it’ll take is a few button presses at an AMX touchpanel. “[The ability to make changes] is one of best things about this system,” says the man of the house. “The CineTouch software makes it a piece of cake to tweak our music system as we see fit.”
The homeowners can not only choose precisely what they want to hear from any of the home’s 22 AMX touchpanels, but they can also direct the music to specific areas of the house. The residence is divided into 32 distinct listening zones, including several outdoor areas. Using any touchpanel, a user can tell the song exactly where to go. For example, if the lady of the house is in the master bedroom, she can play a song in that room only or add in the master bath, or she can tell the system to send the tune to every speaker on the property. Having such an extreme level of flexibility does make for some lighthearted musical jousting, the owners admit. “We can be in the kitchen and tell the system to play music in the guest house to wake up my friends in the morning. Of course, [guests] can always retaliate and do the same thing to us the next morning.” No matter. The occasional early-morning wake-up calls are a small price to pay for a system that provides everyone with easy access to music from anywhere to anywhere, the homeowners agree.
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Lisa Montgomery has been writing about home technology for 15 years, with a focus on the impact of electronics on a modern lifestyle.